MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – At least two people were killed in a large explosion at a gas power plant on Sunday, officials report.
Gordon Holk, general manager of the Kleen Energy Systems plant, confirmed the two fatalities but did not have the number of injuries. The plant was under construction and not supplying energy to anyone, he said.
Middletown police has revealed to the media that the explosion was ‘huge’ and there were multiple injuries and fatalities.
At least 51 people were in the plant when the explosion occurred around 11:30 a.m., Holk said.
A fire caused by the explosion was out and crews were searching the rubble.
“We’re in a search and rescue mode,” said Middletown deputy fire marshal Al Santostefano, who confirmed multiple injuries.
Black smoke was seen billowing from plant under construction along the banks of the Connecticut River.
The explosion at about 11:30 a.m. could be heard from as many as 20 miles away, and some mistook it for an earthquake.
“I felt the ground shake and thought a tree had fallen nearby,” said Ethan Goller, who at the time was working in his garage in Ivoryton, 20 miles from Middletown.
A local resident, Bernadette Nyland, stated that she was in her yard when the explosion occurred.
“They were doing the firing of the engines this morning and so something went wrong and it blew up and flames came shooting up almost as tall as that stack,” she told the station.
Middletown, a college town, is 23 miles south of the city of Hartford.
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